Warning: NZ Facebook users cautioned as new malware attack targets passwords

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New Zealand Facebook users have been infected by a new Facebook malware attack which is believed to steal private information including passwords and browsing history.

Users receive a message through Facebook Messenger with a dodgy link.
Source: 1 NEWS

Users receive a message through Facebook Messenger from one of their friends saying "[your name] video [emoji]" and a shortened link to what looks like a video player.

When the user clicks the video, they are asked to install an update or a script, or even installs it automatically, and the virus takes hold.

The same message is then sent to all of the user's own contacts and cycle continues.

Overseas media have reported the malware has affected users in several other countries, and that it is likely to be aimed at stealing information such as passwords, email accounts, browsing history and internet provider information.

Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker, speaking to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, said this type of malware had the potential to quickly spread to hundreds of thousands of computers.

"As we understand, it's pretty widely through the Facebook network," he said.

"This particular version that's spreading at the moment steals personal information.

"There is another version which is less common which encrypts your computer."

Mr Cocker also cautioned users against using the same password for mutliple online services, as once your password was compromised on one site, it was often tried on others.

Those infected should quickly secure their account by changing their password and checking their Facebook activity for anything suspicious.

Changing the passwords to other sensitive online services after being infected is also a good idea.

Netsafe has also reminded people to keep their software and operating system up to date, which can lessen the effects of malware when it strikes.

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